Do you know what ID to take with you when you cast your ballot this year? Acceptable forms of ID include: State issued Driver’s License with your photo, A U.S. Passport, A U.S. Military photo ID and a Tennessee issued handgun carry permit with your photo? You may not use your college student photo ID? Our society has deemed it acceptable for a person with a gun license to decide on the future of this country instead of someone enrolled in a college or university. The gun lobby encouraged the acceptance of a gun permit to be an acceptable form of identification. Imagine if the education lobby was that powerful. This is not sustainable.
The 2008 election of President Barak Obama displayed the power of the African American vote. The Republican Party noticed this and after the 2010 census, the Republican dominated state legislatures all over America, began to enact laws to suppress that power. They were encouraged by the gun lobby. The conservatives went negative and justified these laws by advising voter fraud was happening. A study by the US Justice Department showed between 2002 and 2007 of the 300 million votes cast, federal prosecutors convicted 86 people for voter fraud. Most of these cases involved people who were unaware of their ineligibility. Statistically, that is .00000029 percent of voter fraud cases.
Students tend to vote liberally and this voting block became suppressed because of this tendency. Candidates should address the issues from this group as the cost of a higher education continues to rise. A higher education is an investment we all benefit from. People seek a higher education in order to be better members of the society. Therefore an active photo id from a college or university should be acceptable when one seeks the opportunity to vote. An active student id should be revered and rewarded not discounted. Candidates from both parties should speak to students and their ideas of what the future could and should be. This presents a wonderful opportunity for candidates to get votes.
The act of voting should not be a cumbersome one. We should encourage everyone to exercise this right. Our society depends upon the participation of all tax paying citizens. Voting is the great equalizer where everyone’s vote counts equally. Regardless of your race, creed, gender, occupation, education or working class, all votes are counted equally. I encourage you to vote and for you to encourage all members of your family, community, church and social organizations to exercise this right. The id laws should be updated to encourage more to vote and participate in the election process. A student id should mean more to us than gun license. We should demand our government to encourage participation to bring more value to our communities and not to remove value from it.
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